Queen of the Valley Nurses Picketed for Patient Safety and a Fair Contract and Now Vote on Authorizing a Strike
Registered nurses at St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, Calif. held an informational picket today from 12 pm to 1 pm, and are currently voting on whether to authorize a strike, in an effort to raise patient care standards and win a fair contract, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, (CNA/NNU) announced today.
More than 75 nurses at Queen of the Valley picketed today to highlight cutbacks and eroding patient care. They have been in contract negotiations for eight months.
Among the nurses’ top concerns is safe patient care; including safe staffing and dedicated staff for safe patient handling. The nurses are deeply concerned about recruitment and retention of experienced nurses. They would like more focused recruitment and retention of quality nurses through competitive wages and benefits.
“When nurses are outside, there’s something wrong inside,” said Sarah Olson, an ICU RN and member of the bargaining team. “We held a picket because we care about our patients. We want the community to know that recruiting and retaining experienced nurses ensures that patients get the care they deserve.”
The nurses are currently voting on whether to authorize the bargaining team to call a strike, if the issues RNs have been raising in ongoing contract negotiations remain unresolved. Voting ends at 8 pm today.
“We nurses are voting to give the bargaining team the authority to call a strike if we don’t make much progress at the bargaining table,” said MaryLou Bahn, who has worked at Queen of the Valley for 38 years and is a member of the bargaining team. We want the bargaining team to have the power to call a strike.”
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United represents more than 400 nurses at QVMC.
NOTE: An informational picket is not a strike or work stoppage. Nurses engaged in the informational picket during their non-work hours.